Nov 042006

Reuters, the political activist organization, put out an article with the headline:
“Evangelical America hit by gay sex scandal.”
The lead paragraph went like this:
“America’s evangelical movement grappled on Friday with a high-profile gay sex scandal that evoked torrid affairs of the past and embarrassed the politically active cause days before nationwide elections.”
One wonders how Reuters could possibly have known this.  Did they do a poll of American evangelicals?  For that matter, did they even research the question of whether American evangelicals had even heard of Ted Haggard before the current media frenzy began?
While so far I don’t personally know of anyone who had heard of Haggard a week ago, I’ve found that he wasn’t a complete unknown.
A year ago Christianity Today explained to its readers who he was:
Meet Ted Haggard the NAE’s optimistic champion of ecumenical evangelism and free-market faith.

by Tim Stafford
So if he needed that much explaining in a prominent evangelical periodical, his wasn’t exactly a name known throughout Evangelicaldom.
(BTW, I had never heard of the National Association of Evangelicals, either, before the current fuss. I’ve long known about Christianity Today, though.  I even had a 1-year subscription a couple of decades ago or so.  I’ve recently been thinking of subscribing again.)
It’s kind of interesting to hear Haggard’s idea of what an evangelical is:
“”Is it correct to say ‘values voters’ are evangelicals?” Nussbaum asks.


“Because, by your definition, Jimmy Carter is an evangelical.”

“He is.”

“Bill Clinton?”

“He is an evangelical.”

“Hilary Clinton.”

“No, she is not.”

“So, which of these definitions doesn’t she meet?”

“I’m not going to say.”
So here’s a question for Reuters:  Are Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter grappling with this “high-profile gay sex scandal”?  Are they embarrassed about it? And what exactly is meant by “torrid affairs of the past”?
Edited, 4-Nov-2006